University of Rochester

EVENT: 2011 Susan B. Anthony Legacy Dinner

January 25, 2011

Journalist Lynn Sherr Pays Special Tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Mary Huth

A devoted champion of the life and legacy of Susan B. Anthony, Mary Huth, former assistant director of the Department of Rare Books & Special Collections at the University of Rochester, will be awarded this year's Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to furthering the study of women's history.

"No one is more deserving of this award than Mary. She has been the keeper of Susan B. Anthony's flame on our campus for many years," said Nora Bredes, director of the Anthony Center for Women's Leadership. Huth will receive the award at the 2011 Anthony Legacy Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 3. The event is a long-standing University tradition that celebrates the women's rights leader's campaign to win women admission to the University and her lifelong struggle to gain equal rights for all.

Award-winning former ABC news correspondent Lynn Sherr will deliver this year's keynote address honoring Huth. Sherr is the author of Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words, a book that she said "would not have been possible without Mary's diligence and her assistance." Sherr said that Huth made critical connections for her which enabled her research for Failure is Impossible.

Huth began her 44-year career at the University in 1966 before earning master's degree in library science at Simmons College and later a master's degree in American History from the University. She served as the women's studies bibliographer for more than 20 years. During her tenure in rare books, she curated two exhibitions dedicated to Susan B. Anthony, one of which continues to be one of the library's most popular online exhibits. She was involved in the planning of several presentations during the 100th anniversary of Anthony's death in 2006, including a reenactment of Anthony's funeral, which took place at the Hochstein School of Music, formerly the Central Presbyterian Church and the site of the funeral in 1906.

"When I first got my job at the University, I started to think about the 100 year movement that it took to get women the vote and Susan B. Anthony's strong connection to both Rochester and the University. When I realized we had materials from her in our archives, I thought it was important to form a liaison with the Anthony House to make these items more accessible to the community," said Huth.

Her research assistance has been acknowledged in more than 50 major works, including books by Richard Norton Smith, Ann Gordon, Ken Burns, and Lynn Sherr. "Mary has been a tireless investigator, archivist, and a devoted champion of Anthony's life and legacy. Generations of future researchers will reap the benefits of her work," said Sherr.

Although she retired last year, Huth continues to volunteer as a docent at the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester where she is an emeritus member of the board of trustees. She is also working with Christine Ridarsky, her co-director of the Anthony Conference in 2006, to edit a collection of essays that grew out of the conference Women and the Struggle for Equal Rights.

"It has been a wonderful opportunity to work with scholars who have written about the women's rights movement and I am honored to be receiving an award linked to Susan B. Anthony's name. She has been a hero of mine all these years," said Huth.

She joins former lifetime award recipients, including Esther Conwell '45, winner of the 2010 National Medal of Science; The Honorable Lois J. Giess '63, former president of the Rochester City Council; and Suzanne Jagel O'Brien '59, associate dean of undergraduate studies and director of the College Center for Academic Support.

This year's Legacy Dinner also includes student awards and scholarships that will be presented to five undergraduate students and one Take Five student. This year's Susan B. Anthony Scholarships will be awarded to Melika Butcher of Brooklyn, N.Y., a junior majoring in English, and Vicky Baudin of Brooklyn, N.Y., a junior majoring in African and African-American studies.

The Susan B. Anthony Prize will be awarded to Lauren Yu of East Amherst, N.Y., a Take Five student at the University's Eastman School of Music who is currently studying ancient Greek and Roman culture. The Jane R. Plitt award will be given to Hilary Wermers of Centennial, Colo., a sophomore majoring in physics.

Receiving the Fannie Bigelow Prizes are Bridget Lenkiewicz of Syracuse, N.Y., a senior majoring in physics, and Maya Dukmasova, of Liverpool, N.Y., a senior majoring in philosophy and religion.

Sponsored by the Anthony Center for Women's Leadership and the University of Rochester's Women's Club, the Legacy Dinner will be held on Thursday, Feb. 3, at 6 p.m. in the May Room of Wilson Commons. Tickets for the dinner are $38, $25 for University students. Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information on seating and reservations, contact (585) 275-8799 or visit